Here’s a taste of what’s in store for the Met’s HD audience on Saturday, as well as a spectacle audiences for later performances will likely miss. (Oh, haven’t you heard? After the broadcast, Natalie Dessay traditionally suffers a relapse of her maladie du jour…) Read more »
Here’s a bit of good news for all you Traviata fans with tickets for tomorrow night’s Met performance or Saturday afternoon’s HD. One of La Cieca’s cadre of spies reports: “I’m at Le Poisson Rouge for a concert by Alexandre Tharaud, and who should happen to be here, in good health and good spirits, but Natalie Dessay! She is certainly no longer ill, if she ever was.”
As suggested in Part I of this piece, to experience Glass’s Satyagraha as a purely aesthetic experience is unfortunately to succumb to a romantic ideology promoting detached reflection on art which is wholly inapplicable to such a politically-charged opera. The idea that Gandhi’s action-oriented philosophy would be packaged and sold for the sake of passive introspection would have bothered him deeply. Read more »
That Philip Glass’s opera about Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience should be revived by the Metropolitan Opera in 2011—a year marked by nonviolent revolutions and uprisings around the globe—is timely, to say the least. The most recent production of his Satyagraha (1979) was first premiered by the Met in the spring of 2008 as America stood on the precipice of the most devastating economic crisis in three-quarters of a century.
It is, as Noel Coward remarked, astonishing how potent cheap music is. According to Brockway and Weinstock’s World of Opera, Gounod’s Faust was performed, after a rather lackluster debut in 1859, a thousand times inParis at the Opera between 1869 and 1894—a gobsmacking average of once every nine days.
It was indeed a curious sensation making a late morning trek to East 59th Street, a block devoted to showro0ms for bizarre upscale furniture and lighting fixtures, and then to enter a boutique cinema specializing in Hindi films (the big coming attraction right now is Desi Boyz) — and all this before sitting down in an auditiorium half- full of retirees to see a live performance of Don Giovanni from La Scala. That it worked as a Mozart experience I think can be chalked up to two factors: Robert Carsen‘s production and the constantly improving (if still imperfect) HD technology.
La Cieca is just back from the HD of Don Giovanni from La Scala: excellent singing through the whole cast, strong conducting (if tending to the slow side) by Daniel Barenboim, and a smart, chic production from Robert Carsen that frankly makes Michael Grandage look like an utter bumpkin. The presentation will repeat here in New York (and elsewhere) in coming days.
I half-wanted to dislike it; my expectations were very low. Renée Fleming in the Baroque, after her very uncertain recent outings in bel canto! Let’s face it; this year, her Rossini (Armida) and Donizetti (Lucrezia Borgia) did not cover her in glory. How, at this HD relay on December 3, would she cope with Handel’s stitchery, hardly less complex for the voice than that of Rossini?